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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
dis•tin•guish /dɪˈstɪŋgwɪʃ/USA pronunciation
v. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
dis•tin•guish•a•ble, adj. See -stin-.
- to mark off as different;
show a difference:[~ + object + from + object]His height distinguishes him from the other boys.
- to recognize as distinct or different: [~ + between + object]I couldn't distinguish between some of the French vowels.[~ + object + from + object]Can you distinguish right from wrong?
- to perceive or sense clearly by the senses;
recognize:[~ + object]Without my glasses I can't distinguish certain signs on the road.
- to set apart as different;
characterize:[~ + object]Her Italian accent distinguishes her.
- to make prominent or eminent:[~ + oneself]He distinguished himself in the arts.
(di sting′gwish),USA pronunciation v.t.
- to mark off as different (often fol. by from or by):He was distinguished from the other boys by his height.
- to recognize as distinct or different;
recognize the salient or individual features or characteristics of:It is hard to distinguish her from her twin sister.
- to perceive clearly by sight or other sense;
recognize:He could not distinguish many of the words.
- to set apart as different;
be a distinctive characteristic of;
characterize:It is his Italian accent that distinguishes him.
- to make prominent, conspicuous, or eminent:to distinguish oneself in battle.
- to divide into classes;
classify:Let us distinguish the various types of metaphor.
- [Archaic.]to single out for or honor with special attention.
dis•tin′guish•a•ble•ness, dis•tin′guish•a•bil′i•ty, n.
- to indicate or show a difference (usually fol. by between).
- to recognize or note differences;
- Latin distinguere; see distinct
- Anglo-French, Middle French distinguer)
- extension, by -ish2, of Middle English disting(u)en ( 1555–65
- 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged Distinguish, differentiate, discriminate suggest an attempt to analyze characteristic features or qualities of things. To distinguish is to recognize the characteristic features belonging to a thing:to distinguish a light cruiser from a heavy cruiser.To discriminate is to perceive the particular, nice, or exact differences between things, to determine wherein these differences consist, and to estimate their significance:to discriminate prejudiced from unprejudiced testimony.To differentiate is to point out exactly and in detail the differences between (usually) two things:The symptoms of both diseases are so similar that it is hard to differentiate one from another.
- 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged confuse.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
distinguish /dɪˈstɪŋɡwɪʃ/ vb (mainly tr)
Etymology: 16th Century: from Latin distinguere to separate, discriminatedisˈtinguishable adj disˈtinguishing adj
- when intr, followed by between or among: to make, show, or recognize a difference or differences (between or among); differentiate (between)
- to be a distinctive feature of; characterize
- to make out; perceive
- to mark for a special honour or title
- to make (oneself) noteworthy
- to classify; categorize
'distinguishable' also found in these entries: